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Green Cleaning Lab Misson & History | Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) | Frequently Asked Questions

Green Cleaning Lab Misson & History

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Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI)

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) Lab has been evaluating cleaning product performance for nearly 20 years, originally doing so for manufacturing plants seeking less toxic alternatives for industrial parts cleaning. Recently, the TURI Lab recognized that the knowledge and expertise it had gained over almost two decades of green product performance testing in a variety of settings could be used to assist both consumers and professionals in choosing eco-preferable cleaning products by sharing its performance test criteria and results with the public.

 

Origins of the Toxics Use Reduction Program

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is the University of Massachusetts Lowell testing cleaning products?
  2. What is the TURI Lab and how did it get involved in testing cleaning products?
  3. What types of products are tested?
  4. What types of tests are performed?
  5. How does TURI ensure the tests are “real world” and practical?
  6. Can companies submit new products for testing?
  7. Can consumers submit DIY cleaning recipes for testing?
  8. Can professionals submit commercial cleaning products for testing?
  9. Can we ask TURI scientists questions about cleaning products?
  10. Does TURI provide green certification or green labeling?

 

Q: Why is the University of Massachusetts Lowell testing cleaning products?

 

A: While it is accepted that lower-toxicity, environmentally-preferable or greener cleaning products are better for human health and global ecosystems, the question remains: Do such products clean well when compared to conventional or even other green products?

To help answer this question and promote cleaning products that are both green and highly effective, the University of Massachusetts Lowell Toxics Use Reduction Institute’s (TURI) Lab has embarked upon a program for testing soil removal efficacy of hard-surface green cleaning products, and for identifying products that perform well when compared to similar products (green or conventional).

 

Q: What is the TURI Lab and how did it get involved in testing cleaning products?

 

A: The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) Lab has been evaluating cleaning product performance for nearly 20 years, originally doing so for manufacturing plants seeking less toxic alternatives for industrial parts cleaning. Recently, the TURI Lab recognized that the knowledge and expertise it had gained over almost two decades of green product performance testing in a variety of settings could be used to assist both consumers and professionals in choosing eco-preferable cleaning products by sharing its performance test criteria and results with the public.

 

Q: What types of products are tested?

 

A: Cleaning solutions such as window, glass, all-purpose and floor cleaners; and cleaning equipment including scrubbing tools, cleaning appliances, microfiber and disposable wipes, and more, are tested. Less-toxic sanitizing and disinfecting products have recently been added, and the list of tested products continues to grow.

 

Q: What types of tests are performed?

 

A: TURI tests hard surface cleaning products with green attributes to enable selection of those that effectively clean a range of home, building and environmental surfaces. Tests for antimicrobial (germ-killing) properties of products have recently been added. [Test method summaries to come...]

 

Q: How does TURI ensure the tests are “real world” and practical?

 

A: TURI rigorously targets the performance of greener products, taking testing to a higher level through application of realistic soils or contaminants on surface materials likely to be found in actual homes or facilities (e.g., white boards, stainless steel, textured or composite countertops, etc.) This provides consumers and professional end-users with practical test outcomes they can use to improve their specific cleaning situation. Tests can also be customized to focus on surfaces and soils most likely to be encountered in specific environments such as bathrooms, kitchens, nurseries, schools, gymnasiums, theatres, and more.

 

Q: Can companies submit new products for testing?

 

A: Yes, companies interested in submitting products for testing should send a request to testing@cleanersolutions.org.

 

Q: Can consumers submit DIY cleaning recipes for testing?

 

A: Yes, consumers interested in submitting products or recipes for testing should send a request to testing@cleanersolutions.org.

 

Q: Can professionals submit commercial cleaning products for testing?

 

A: Yes, cleaning professionals interested in submitting products for testing should send a request to testing@cleanersolutions.org.

 

Q: Can we ask TURI scientists questions about cleaning products?

 

A: Yes, TURI scientists are available to answer your questions about green cleaning products. Please send your question to questions@cleanersolutions.org.

 

Q: Does TURI provide green certification or green labeling?

 

A: No. UMass Lowell/TURI does not certify, endorse, recognize or recommend products. TURI does not issue or promote a formal logo for use on products or product packaging since it would be viewed as a form of certification, which it does not provide. Rather, it promotes the value of performance testing, then publishes the results of tests to provide consumers with solid science-based information upon which they can base sound product selection decisions.

 

Credits

Many of the cleaning terms and other definitions and entries were excerpted and used by permission of The Housekeeping Channel (HC) LLC.

 
*UMass Lowell/TURI does not certify, endorse, recognize or recommend products.